170 Ukrainian artists contribute to new book and compilation, ‘Ukrainian Field Notes’

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A new book documenting first-hand accounts of the war from 170 Ukrainian DJs and producers, alongside a fundraising compilation, has been released.

Ukrainian Field Notes’ collects music and interviews from dozens of artists in Ukraine, taken over the course of the first year of Russia’s full-scale invasion between February 24, 2022, and February 24, 2023.

The project is said to “present an overview of the changing face of the Ukrainian music scene dictated by blackouts and curfew restrictions”, put together by artist and filmmaker Gianmarco Del Re.

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‘Ukrainian Field Notes’ began in 2022 as a series of interviews with Ukrainian musicians for A Closer Listen, an experimental music website.

“After the full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022, I delved deeper into the experimental and electronic scene, not just in Kyiv but throughout the country,” Gianmarco Del Re tells Mixmag.

The 567-page “diary-style” book features photography and interviews with artists exploring the effects of the war and deals with “PTSD, displacement, separation, and loss” while showing the “strength and resilience” of Ukrainian artists.

Landing alongside the book is a fundraising compilation featuring 86 tracks from Ukrainian DJs and producers, with all profits going toward Musicians Defend Ukraine.

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The compilation tracklist runs in chronological order with the interviews featured in the book, merging genres from ambient to classical to electronic.

“Looking at the war’s sonic dimension within a civilian context as well as the listening habits and the production of music on the frontline from DJs and musicians such as YLOI, who is currently serving in the army, ‘Ukrainian Field Notes’ aims to take a 360 degree look at how sound has shaped the war experience of Ukrainian artists,” explains Del Re.

Find out more about the book here, and listen to ‘Ukrainian Field Notes VA’ here.

Find a list of ways you can support Ukraine here.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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